News for 24 July 2010

All the news for Saturday 24 July 2010

France Ties Final Game With India 2-2

France has drawn its final game 2-2 against India on Wednesday in a three game series at the National Sports Institute (INSEP) in Paris.

France used 21 players for the three games, including six players from the Development Squad.  Seven of the 21 were from the France U21 team who are in their final preparation for the U21 European Championships at the end of July.

In its final game, France applied considerable pressure to the visiting team, rejuvenated after a disappointing second half of game two, where Les Bleus conceded five goals.   After controlling most of the half and hitting the post twice, France finally broke the 0-0 deadlock after 30 minutes with a field goal to U21 player Olivier SANCHEZ, followed two minutes later with a Indian midfield turnover punished by Martin GENESTET.

The second half saw India noticeably increase the pressure on Les Bleus defence, who struggled to regain their first half control.  India made the score 1-2 after 11 minutes of the second period after penalty corner ace Sandeep SINGH converted his sixth goal of the series.

India continued to pressure the French defence both with and without the ball for the next 20 minutes, before finally finding the equaliser via Captain Rajpal SINGH with 5 minutes remaining in the match.

Coach Scott GOODHEART was pleased with the final game draw, saying, “It was a much better performance that the second half of game, although I think we should have finished our chances in the first half to make it very hard to India to come back. India played very well in the second half and in some respects we did well to hang on to a draw.”

Games one and two of the series were both won by India 3-4 and 0-6 respectively.

Game one was a close affair between the hosts and the visitors with India keeping their nose just ahead of France throughout the match, leading by 1 goal for long periods. Three goals in the first 12 minutes of the match, two to India and one to France saw the game settle at 1-2 for most of the match.

France then equalised with 19 minutes remaining in the game, and a draw looked the most likely result, until three goals in the last five minutes, one from France and then two from India, the last in the final minute of the match, saw the game settle at 3-4 to the visitors. Fred SOYEZ scored France’s three goals in a strong performance whilst India’s Sandeep SINGH scored two goals from India’s two penalty corners. 

In game two, a closely contested first half saw the game rest at 0-1 to India at the break, before an impressive display of attacking hockey split the game open to finish at 0-6.  Sandeep SIGNH was once again the destroyer for India, scoring three goals from five corners.  France did not convert any of their five penalty corners for the match.

“This was another useful series for France. This was the first time we had played India in more than six years, and so it is important to experience their style of hockey with this new group. We can also learn from a team such as India, so the games were educational and also very high tempo for us,” said GOODHEART.

France now welcomes New Zealand to INSEP on 24 July for the first of 3 matches.

24 July 16h00 vs New Zealand
25 July 16h00 vs New Zealand
27 July 16h00 vs New Zealand


The 21 players used by France during the India matches (age, club, caps):

DIERCKENS, Matthias (22, Lille MHC, 10)
DIERCKENS, Bastien (22, Lille MHC, 8)
GENESTET, Martin (24, St Germain HC, 53)
GENESTET, Tom (23, St Germain HC, 29)
JANSEN, Joost (21, CA Montrouge, 40)
LHOMME, Henri (27, FCHC Lyon, 14)
MAGNER, Fabien (20, Paris Jean Bouin, 10)
MIGNEAU, Valentin (24, Lille MHC, 32)
PAUCHET, Jean Baptiste (25, St Germain HC, 17)
SAMSON, Guillaume (21, St Germain HC, 9)
SANCHEZ, Olivier (21, CA Montrouge, 17)
SCHAMBERT, Yannick (24, Lille MHC, 37)
SCHEEFER, Francois (22, CA Montrouge, 57)
SEVESTRE, Lucas (21, St Germain HC, 34)
SOYEZ, Frederic (32, Compultense (ESP), 187)
BLONDEL, Thibaut (23, Lille MHC, 5)
CATONNET, Matthieu (20, Amiens HC, 7)
HAUET, Cesar (20, Stade Francaise, 5)
HOAREAU, Willy (23, Lille MHC, 5)
POURCELET, Fabien (22, St Germain HC, 5)
SEVESTRE, Lois (19, FCHC Lyon, 4)

Coaching Staff:

Head Coach: Scott GOODHEART
Assistant Coach: Chris ROWOHLT
Assistant Coach: Axel GUIGNARD
Manager: Sandra HARIK
Physiotherapist: Lorenzo PACHECO-MARTINEZ

Fédération Française de Hockey media release

Black Sticks men defeat Belgium

North Harbour midfielder Steve Edwards had cause to celebrate his 100th international cap for New Zealand as they beat Belgium 1-0 in a men's hockey international at Antwerp today.

Phil Burrows provided the sole goal one day after the New Zealanders lost 3-5 to the same opposition.

Coach Shane McLeod said goalscoring opportunities were limited due to the strong defensive performances from both sides.

"This provided us with a good opportunity to grind out a victory in a tightly contested match. It was very beneficial in our preparation for the Champions Trophy."

McLeod said Stephen Graham had a good game in goal, supported by a sound defensive game from Dean Couzins.

Number one goalkeeper Kyle Pontifex sat out the game, while Simon Childs played his first game for the national side this year.

The experienced Hayden Shaw and Andy Haywood were both injured and left the field as a precaution, but McLeod expects both to play against France in Paris on Sunday as the New Zealanders continue preparations for the Champions Trophy starting in Germany on July 31.

They are to play three matches against the French before heading to Germany.


Sharma to officiate in Champions Trophy

Satinder Sharma, International Grade -I Hockey umpire, an officer in the State Bank of India (University Branch), has been appointed by the FIH as an umpire at the Champions Trophy scheduled to be held in Monchengladbach (Germany) from July 31 to August 8. Sharma is the only Indian Hockey Umpire, who enjoys the rare distinction of holding the Golden Whistle for having officiated at more than hundred International matches. He has been in the elite panel of FIH for almost a decade now in view of his consistent fine performance at the highest level. Satinder Sharma is required to be present at Monchenglatlbach on July 28 and will be leaving for the venue of the tournament on July 27.

Indian Express

Form indicates IOC regaining trophy

S. Thyagarajan

Does an assault on an umpire by a player on the field of play constitute a criminal offence? This is a matter for debate; may even be taken up for discussion in a symposium. The matter surfaced in an interaction consequent to the attack on hockey umpire Surya Prakash by Sunil Ekka and some Army players in the MCC-Murugappa Gold Cup hockey tournament. Sunil Ekka was rightly red-carded for the misdemeanour and debarred from taking further part in the competition.

The question whether the action can be pursued as a breach of criminal law was raised in an informal discussion by Jagan Seshadri, Retired Director-General of Police, and a keen sports enthusiast.

His take on the incident is that the player(s) joining in an assault on an unprotected official on the field falls within the scope of criminal enquiry and punishment.

He argued, in relation to this specific incident, the attack reflected a reaction as an intention to hurt and humiliate a neutral supervisor. The opinion expressed by Mr. Seshadri raises several interesting points, which fall within the ambit of the current debate on sport and the law. A more detailed debate on the issue is bound to throw up new perspectives.

Exciting phase

Sans this embarrassing incident, the 86th edition of the event, sponsored by the Murugappa Group and conducted by the Madras Cricket Club, has coursed through an interesting, and even exciting league phase.

There were plenty of goals and action thus far. Who among the four — IOC, ONGC, Indian Railways and Punjab National Bank — is destined to take the glittering Gold Cup and the enhanced cash prize of Rs. 2.5 lakh will be known on Sunday.

On form, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) seems well placed to regain the trophy. Possibly, it is the best balanced outfit, replete with current and former internationals, headed by the ebullient Deepak Thakur and the energetic winger Prabjhot Singh supported by the hard-working playmaker Inderjit Chadha.

Drag-flicker Raghunath and striker Roshan Minz have also contributed immensely to the success — a sweep of four-in-a-row win in the league stage to top the pool with 12 points.

ONGC leans on the proficiency of penalty corner hitter Diwakar Ram, while Railways depends on Innocent Kullu to rise to the occasion when demanded. PNB was a surprise packet in the tournament scoring an upset win over the more fancied BPCL. Striker Bruno Lugan is in fine fettle and PNB should prove it when the team locks horns with ONGC.

The competition has underlined the need for the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT) to attend immediately to the better maintenance of the turf.

The dirt on the surface, possibly due to overuse of the facility, with players pounding it with poor and badly designed footwear, combined with the air pollution around, has damaged the costly surface.

The best the SDAT can do at this juncture is to close the stadium for a few days after the tournament and hand it over to a professional agency for a thorough cleaning of the artificial pitch removing the mud and dirt visible on the surface.

Else the pitch, laid at enormous expense, will be rendered unfit for play sooner than expected.

Saturday's matches: ONGC v Punjab National Bank (4.15 p.m.); IOC v Indian Railways (6.15 p.m.).

The Hindu

Women's Inter Provincial final same as last year

JONATHAN COOK in East London

The final of the South African Women's Interprovincial Hockey Tournament will be between defending champions Southern Gauteng and KZN Coastals.

It's a repeat of last year's final, which Southerns won 2-1 in a thriller.

Both semi-finals at Kat Leisure Park in East London Thursday were exciting affairs with Southerns beating Northerns of Pretoria 3-1 and KZN Coastals upsetting tournament favourites Western Province 1-0.

Northerns put up a tremendous fight against their more illustrious neighbours but goals from Pietie Coetzee, Tsoanelo Pholo and Anika Fischer to the lone goal from Sumari Kruger in the dying minutes this after the scores were deadlocked at 0-0 at the break.

KZN Coastals also refused to throw in the towel against the highly efficient, well-drilled Western Province line-up, and withstood an enormous amount of pressure before taking their best chance when Merel de Blaey netted a penalty stroke past SA goalkeeper Mariette Rix with 16 minutes to go.

Saturday's final will see Southerns as the firm favourites but Coastals have shown in their defeat of the best side at IPT, Western Province, that they are capable of beating anyone on their day.

Fifth place will be played for between North West and Witwatersrand. North West beat KZN Inland 4-0 in the cross-pool playoffs while Wits accounted for Eastern Province 5-2 in a penalty stroke shootout after the sides were locked 1-1 after regulation time.

That leaves Inland to tackle EP in the relegation match, the loser being demoted to next year's B Section.

The promotion match between this year's two B Section finalists sees the all-conquering Free State team, scorers of a blizzard of goals, up against the efficient, well-oiled Western Province Peninsula line-up.

The favourites are Free State, if only because of their amazing strike rate in front of goal this week.


A Section: (5 to 8) EP 1 Witwatersrand 1 (Wits won penalty stroke shootout 5-2); North West 4 KZN Inland 0; (1 to 4) Southern Gauteng 3 Northerns 1; KZN Coastals 1 WP 0.

B Section: Southern Cape 8 Sasko SA Country Districts B 0; WP Peninsual 6 Sasko SA Country Districts A 0; Free State 14 Mpumalanga 0; Border 9 Namibia 0.


A Section: (7/8) EP vs Inland; (5/6) North West vs Wits; (3/4) Northerns vs WP; (final) KZN Coastals vs Southern Gauteng).

B Section: (9/10) Sasko SA Country Districts B vs Namibia; (7/8) Sasko SA Country Districts A vs Northern Cape; (5/6) Southern Cape vs Mpumalanga; (3/4) KZN Mynahs vs Border; (final) WP Peninsula vs Free State.

SA Hockey World

KZN Coastals come down to earth but still in semis


IT took three hours of A Section action at the SA Women's Interprovincial Hockey Tournament in East London for KZN Coastals to concede a goal, and they also lost their first match.

However, don't read too much into the 2-1 Pool B defeat to Northerns at Kat Leisure Park Thursday, as Coastals are still in the hunt. Indeed, last year's finalists will qualify for Saturday's tournament title showdown at 4 pm should they topple unbeaten Western Province in Friday's second semi-final.

"It was one of those days," said Coastal coach Lennie Botha. "Our basics were poor and the players didn't step up to the plate, although it was an exciting match for the spectators."

It was a match of phases, where Northerns were on top in the first and third quarters, while Coastals dominated the periods before the half- and full-time whistles.

"We stuck to the plan that assistant coach Lindsey Wright and I came up with," said Northerns coach Gregg Hesom. "We had identified quite a few chinks in their armour, little things here and there, and they all add up to something you can work with."

Another magnificent winter's day saw Southern Gauteng defeat North West 2-0 to ensure they finished second in Pool A behind Western Province, and they will face their northern neighbours from Pretoria in the first semi-final.

Coastals weren't happy with Northerns' first goal, which came a minute after half-time, Botha feeling that a ruling of dangerous play should have preceded the final touch off the stick of Marlene Nortje. "But no excuses, we got caught on the turnovers and it just wasn't good enough," Botha said.

Soon after Tarryn Moses made it two, and despite overwhelming Northerns from that point, Coastals only had a Merel de Blaey penalty stroke to show for it.

"Although we did play well in patches against Northerns, we need to get our game right for the full 70 minutes against Province."

The Coastals coach said he had identified key areas that his side could exploit against WP. "They are a quality side, though, and their players have been in semi-finals more often than us, so it could go either way."

SA Hockey World

Battle of Gauteng looms for hockey heavyweights


FOR captain Marsha Marescia and the Southern Gauteng team it's a case of déjà vu, as once again they will be meeting Northerns Blues in the semi-finals of ... the SA Women's Interprovincial Hockey Tournament.

The upshot of the action at Kat Leisure Park in East London Thursday was that Southerns' 2-0 defeat of a feisty North West and Northerns' somewhat surprising 2-1 victory over the fancied KZN Coastals means a 2 pm semi-final date Friday for the Gauteng rivals.

The other last-four match will see Western Province, along with Northerns the only unbeaten sides left in the eight-team A Section, up against KZN Coastals, who were beaten 2-1 in last year's final by head coach Ryan Millela's Southerns squad.

What concerns Southern Gauteng's assistant coach Adrian Carolan is the fact that his side had 39 forays into the North West circle yet could only translate that into two goals, a Pietie Coetzee reverse-stick rocket two minutes into the second half followed by Marescia's pounce off the goalkeeper's pads from a penalty corner rebound 20 minutes later.

"Now it's up to our group to really prove their worth in front of goal. In their defence, though, it must be said they have shown in the past that they can produce something extra in the knockout stages of tournaments," Carolan added.

Millela agreed. "Now it's just about our strikers arriving on the day and putting the ball in the back of the sack. They've done it before and they can do it again."

Northerns coach Gregg Hesom said it would take a collective team effort to beat Southerns, who they did in fact beat in one of two pre-tournament practice matches.

"Nothing much can be read in to that, though, it's what happens on the day that counts and, as the cliché goes, who wants it the most."

Southern Gauteng have many players capable of producing the moments of individual brilliance that can win semi-finals, and are an organised side under SA captain Marescia and head coach Millela's leadership.

They also know how to win the matches at the business end of a tournament and have been in these situations far more often that their northern neighbours, so a repeat of last year's 3-0 semi-final win at the Tshwane University of Technology Hockey Stadium is more than likely.

However, history tells us that nothing gets a Northerns hockey lady more motivated than the prospect of putting one over the girls from Egoli.

SA Hockey World

Border thrash Namibians but lose out on playoffs


BORDER proved too powerful for a game Namibia in their final B section pool match in the women’s interprovincial hockey series at Kat Leisure Park in East London last night.

Border ran out 9-0 winners and as the scoreline suggests it was one-way traffic once Amber Horrman got the opening goal just five minutes into the clash. Border slowly gained the ascendancy as the game wore on. And when Liandri Fourie got in on the act in the 22nd minute to make it 2-0, it spurred the home team on to raise their game.

Namibia kept a tight rein on Border’s attack for the next 10 minutes and desperate defending was the order of the day. But Marcelle Keet got to the business end of matters when she finished off a short corner penalty stroke. after Lana Smith cleverly worked the ball off the impressive Cailin McClure’s shot in put- in the 33rd minute.

The Namibians were given hope when their goalkeeper Maxi Smith put her body on the line to make some telling saves. But then it all fell apart when Border went into overdrive, and with the steady influence of central defender Smith, the goals started to flow at regular intervals.

Charnene Sampson (2), McClure again, Danielle Judge, Horrman again, and Keet, her second, all hit the target and it was all over as a contest.

Unfortunately it was a bridge too far for Border’s promotion hopes as Free State earlier pummelled Mpumalanga 14-0 and Border lost out on goal difference for the section playoff. Free State will meet Western Province Peninsula in the B section final, while Border have a third- fourth playoff against the KwaZulu-Natal Mynahs today to console themselves.

Today’s fixtures:

At Kat Leisure Park: A section: 8am, Eastern Province v KwaZulu-Natal Inland; 10am, Wits v North West; noon, Northerns v Western Province; 2pm, Free State v WP Peninsula; 4pm, Southerns v KwaZulu-Natal Coastals.

At Buffalo Flats: B section: 8am, SACD B v Namibia; noon, Mpumalanga v Southern Cape; 2pm, KZN Mynahs v Border.

Daily Dispatch

Hockey coach to identify EL talent


OUT SPOTTING TALENT: South African women’s national hockey team coach, Giles Bonnet, is in Buffalo City to identify potential talent at the Women’s Inter-Provincial Tournament. Picture: GALLO IMAGES

AN AMBITIOUS programme to raise the world ranking of the South African women’s national hockey team has been revealed by recently appointed coach Giles Bonnet.

He is visiting East London’s Buffalo Flats to identify talent at the inter-provincial currently being staged in the city.

“South Africa is currently ranked number 12 in the world, and I’ve got 30 months to get the country to the top six,” he said.

Bonnet recently took the national women’s side to China where 11 internationals were played against the Chinese national team in Beijing.

“Part of the deal is that South Africa has to play 100 internationals during this period,” he said. “We’ve played 11 already, so 89 to go.”

Bonnet added that in the period 2008 to mid-2010, South Africa played only 18 internationals, so in the next two years and five months, international games will intensify.

“It’s an ambitious undertaking due to the timeline, a vision really, but it can be done,” he said determinedly.

Bonnet has called for two camps at which about 30 of the country’s top female players will gather – the first starting as early as Monday in Durban.

“We’ll have nine coaches from this week’s inter-provincials there. This includes the Border coach, Greg Beling, who will join us in Durban.

“The camps will run at an intense level. Physically and technically, all the coaches from around South Africa will work together and this will assist continuity.”

Bonnet said currently there was a complement of 26 girls who form the main core of available talent. He added that a squad of 16 girls will be selected for the Commonwealth Games, while all 30 girls invited to the camp will compete for the World Games in Argentina later this year.

Referring to this week’s inter-provincial, he added: “I’ve seen five or six girls here with lots of promise. We’ll watch them, keep a close eye on them and give them opportunities.”

Bonnet said that the Border remained a key area for development of the sport.

“It’s a nursery for young players, really. There’s a strong school system and we need structures in place to get Border to the A section and also raise the level of inter-provincials.”

Bonnet wants to increase the physical well-being of the national squad and to that end, has managed to obtain the services of physical trainer Derek Coetzee who enjoyed plenty of success with the Springbok rugby team that annexed the World Cup in France in 2007 under coach Jake White. He has also implemented a plan to include a top Dutch personal trainer who will assist with the mental coaching of the girls.

“These guys must add value from day one,” he said.

During the period 2001 to 2007 Bonnet coached the Belgian men’s team and improved their world ranking, taking the team from amateur to semi-professional status. In 2008 he worked as an assistant to the Chinese men’s team at the Beijing Olympic Games and also assisted the Chinese women’s squad.

Daily Dispatch

PHF to host international hockey league in Dubai

KARACHI: Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF)’s top brass has sewn up a plan to launch an international hockey league in Dubai later this year.

Sources in the federation said that players from all over the world will feature in the inaugural edition in December at Dubai Sports City.

Pakistan has been a no-go zone for international sportspersons since terrorists attacked Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore in March 2009.

In the prevailing atmosphere, there are no takers for any international hockey event in Pakistan, the source said.

He added that PHF secretary, Asif Bajwa, has struck a deal with Dubai Sports City officials for hosting the league.

The PHF plans to send out invitations to players from India, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Australia, Malaysia, China, France, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to play in the league.

Players from India, the Netherlands and Malaysia have already shown. The league will be played annually and will move to Pakistan as soon as possible.


Pakistan to host international hockey league in Dubai

KARACHI: Pakistan's hockey chiefs have sewn up a plan to launch an international hockey league in Dubai later this year.

A Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) source said players from all over the world will be featuring in the inaugural edition in December at Dubai Sports City.

Pakistan has been a no-go zone for international sportspersons since terrorists attacked Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore in March 2009.

In the prevailing atmosphere, there are no takers for any international hockey event in Pakistan, the source said.

He added that PHF secretary Asif Bajwa has struck a deal with Dubai Sports City officials for hosting the league.

The PHF plans to send out invitations to players from India, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Australia, Malaysia, China, France, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to play in the league.

Players from India, the Netherlands and Malaysia have already shown interest in the league which will be an annual affair. It will soon move to Pakistan.

The Times of India

England and Great Britain's Ashley Jackson: Q&A

By Gareth A Davies

Right decision: Ashley Jackson says he ahs no regrets about choosing hockey over cricket Photo: PA

Ashley Jackson, 22, the England hockey midfielder, on deciding between cricket and hockey and being awarded the International Hockey Federation’s Young Player of the Year Award.

Where did you go to school, and was sport an important part of school life?

I went to Rose Hill Prep School, Tunbridge Wells, and then Sutton Valence School, in Maidstone. School sport was my school life. All my memories of schooldays are based around sport.

Did you excel at other sports ?

I played all sports - for the First XV at scrum-half on a Saturday and hockey for my club, East Grinstead, on a Sunday. I played county cricket for Kent through the age-groups, a left-handed batsman in the top three. I didn’t bowl – too much hard work. I played a few games with Sam Northeast, a couple of years younger than me, who is a phenomenal, emerging batting talent. The Academy at Kent came in my last year there.

Were there other notable sportsmen in your time at Sutton Valence?

Rugby union back Tristan Roberts, who has since signed for Doncaster. He’d practise kicking goals through the posts, and I’d catch them and send them back to him, learning to kick off both feet. We spent hours out on the field, just the two of us. Richie Richardson’s son – Ari – played cricket at Sutton. He was a quick bowler.

How did your career develop into choosing hockey over cricket ?

It was a question I was always being asked. Would it be hockey or cricket ? Mainly because they went alongside each other in similar stages of development. The way it worked out I never really did choose. I was selected for England Under 21 hockey when I was 18, and went to the World Cup in 2005. I missed most of the cricket season, and I joined the senior England hockey squad after that. Game, set, match.

Would cricket have not been a better move as it is professional?

I play in Holland, which is the only professional league around. I’ve been there for the last two seasons with HGC in The Hague.

Most memorable sporting moment as a schoolboy?

Rather than a match, or performance, it was training sessions when myself and friends used to raid the sports hall cupboard and play a variety of made-up games, keeping ourselves entertained

Did sport interfere with your schoolwork?

Yes, but only because I chose to allow it. I finished the Sixth Form, a couple of teachers made me do my work and get through A Levels. I finished with Psychology and Sports Studies. Sport dominated my life. My parents literally committed themselves to travelling the world for my sport and my brother Wesley’s sport.

The Telegraph

Penang wary of MHF motion

By Jugjet Singh

PENANG HA vice-president Ranjit Singh has urged Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) council members to tread carefully when they deliberate to change the post of their secretary from elected to appointed.

The MHF council will meet next Tuesday and among the agendas is a motion to amend their constitution to enable the president to appoint his secretary instead of by the affiliates through balloting.

“Penang is still 50-50 on this issue, as we feel that the council members need to debate intelligently before calling for an EGM (extraordinary general meeting).

“And from what I gathered, many states oppose the idea because it is open to abuse and could lead to many problems in the long run ifwe have an appointed secretary instead of an elected official,” said Ranjit.

“Right now we have a hard-working president in Tengku Abdullah (Sultan Ahmad Shah).

He has injected many fresh ideas into the sport, and also madeMHF financially sound.

“However, when there is a change in leadership in future, the new president might not be of the same calibre and then the problems will start as he holds the reins on the secretary.

“And once the constitution is amended, it is not easy to get back to the old ways.

“State delegates need to voice out their feelings on this matter at the council meeting and not just keep quiet and then vote against the idea in the EGM, as this will be seen as a waste of time and effort,” said Ranjit.

The MHF council is also expected to propose a few other amendments to tighten some areas in the constitution.

New Straits Times

Mir Ranjan Negi must have better things to do than coaching women

K. Arumugam

I met MR Negi twice in 2008.

First, it was at Amby Valley where he came to support JB Roy who was then flexing his muscles to contest pre-Hockey India days’ Indian Hockey Federation.

He was very well clad, laden with costly costume, presenting an ethnic look, there was a class in his appearance. What appeared different from the Negi whom I knew from my early journalistic days was not this change in his appearance, which was electric and inspiring, but something that would happen late in the night.

After a so-called brainstorming session, the organizers had a grand dinner at the end of which he gave a wonderful dance performance on the stage, which kept everyone tapping their feet. I never new before he is such a great dancer! He undoubtedly made the night memorable. Then I realized how he made it to the hugely popular jhalak dikhla ja (popular dance competition), and it was not without reasons.

I felt Negi, who used to dance in the cage before the bewitching forwards -- before giving every forward worth his salt a name in the scoreboard – has really found where his future is.

Later on a couple of months later, I specifically went to Bombay to be present in his book releasing ceremony. It was a costly trip for me, but a cherishing moment, as it presented a different environ for a sports book releasing. Despite the presence of Ajit Pal, Ashok Kumar and Zafar Iqbal – carefully invited guests, as these legends were selectors under the Adhoc Committee of IOA which ran the hockey affairs -- there was hardly any sporting environment, contrarily it was a different one with all Chak De girls present, and also a host of television personalities, singers, fringe cine actors and actresses. I kept my camera busy, shot close up of all. Suneil Shetty came late but electrified the atmosphere in that book shop.

That I felt this man belongs to different planet than hockey. He also said on dais that he is in the cine world as a representative of hockey, as hockey needs glamour.

I fully agreed, and I wish to remind this gentleman the same now.

Cinema related websites give me the fact that MR Negi has acted in two films which are going to be released shortly.

Being a good dancer and an up and coming glamour world star, Negi can one day give a tough fight to Shah Ruk Khan in dance and acting, whom after all he coached how to handle hockey stick. And Shah Ruk might ask for Negi's foreword when he sits for his biography, as a return gift. (SRK gave foreword for Negi's magnum opus book, which explains how India, not won but, lost to Pakistan the Asiad final 1-7).

Besides Negi also has a heart for hockey, as he often announced he is having a foundation on his son’s name and it is imparting hockey to underprivileged and many other youngsters. I get tears on my eyes on his gesture.

MR Negi also active in the Bombay Hockey Association Politics, a key member of Kher Singh Group, though unfortunately he lost the election to Carvalho faction last year.

During the Pune players strike Mr. Negi was prominent on the small screen, at least on one occasion he showcased another strait in his persona, that of a strict administrator. He admonished the players for leaving practice, after all they play for the country, country is before money. He also went on to the extent of throwing out errant players. I certainly visualized a great administrative role for him in the future, in case he gets free time from other pressing commitments.

He is also a high ranking official in Customs department, wears uniform and chases cheaters, gets holds of traitors and enrich the coffers of the country.

A dancer, a performing cine artist, a social service worker, active hockey politician, administrator, committed custom’s official – Negi wears many many hats.

I wish him success in all these areas of his chosen activities, with a reminder and request that hockey at present doesn't have a right representative in all those fields. Therefore, he and hockey will be well off if he is there in those spheres.

After all, women hockey is not losing by 1-7 margin.

Some players don't want Negi as coach

Arghya Ganguly

NEW DELHI: The sentimental favourite may not be welcome after all. A day after Mir Ranjan Negi threw his hat into the ring and declared himself a potential candidate to coach the Indian women’s hockey team, some of the players expressed reservations about the former goalkeeping coach’s ability to measure up to the job. They also feel that with some big events coming up shortly, time was not right to get in a new coach who will take his time to settle in with the team.

"He (Negi) was quite nice, the encouraging type when he was a part of the Indian team as a goalkeeping coach but we have doubts about his ability as the chief coach," said a member of the team, on conditions of anonymity, adding, "There are three major tournaments coming up. The big one, the World Cup is from August 29. That’s why we don’t want anyone new. We want Khalid Mohammad as the goalkeeping coach and Sandeep Somesh (assistant coach under MK Kaushik who has resigned following allegations of sexual misconduct) as the head coach. They have been working with the team for the last two years. In fact, for the last two months, they have been working specifically keeping the World Cup and Commonwealth Games in mind and have worked really well with us."

"They have done analysis of the teams - after watching the video recordings, which they obtained from the Olympics - who are in our World Cup pools like Holland, Germany, Australia and Japan. We have also trained specifically for the New Zealanders, England and South Africa, who are we going to face in the CWG."

Another player seconded her teammate’s thoughts. "We don’t even want Vasu Thapliyal (the other assistant coach) because his knowledge about the game is limited. He was close to MK Kaushik and not Somesh that’s why Vasu came with us for the tours frequently. Somesh and Khalid know everything about team tactics and if they continue, we believe we can go a step further. If a new coach comes, our rhythm would be broken. And a lot of time would be spent understanding the coach rather than working for the tournaments."

Negi, though, felt that at this stormy hour, he was the ideal candidate. "I know each and every girl and their style of play. The girls need someone who they can trust and share a rapport with. Right now, their confidence is shaken because of what has happened. Therefore a change is required and I think I can be of help to them," he said from Mumbai. "They don’t need someone new, who comes out of the blue. That will become a problem then because there are major tournaments coming up. They need a familiar change. I’m the familiar change," Negi stressed.

Meanwhile, a Hockey India official said that any decision on the coach would only be taken after HI polls, slated for July 28.

The Times of India

Panel demands probe

Special Correspondent

The enquiry panel set up by Hockey India (HI) to look into the allegations of sexual harassment against women's National Coach M.K. Kaushik has recommended that he, along with videographer Basavraj, may not be associated with hockey in future.

The panel, headed by Rajiv Mehta and including Olympians Ajitpal Singh and Zafar Iqbal, has also recommended that the sexual harassment charge, which was a serious matter, be probed thoroughly by a competent authority, as per the procedures and guidelines laid down in the Supreme Court judgement on the Vishakha case.

The committee noted that it did not have the mandate to look into the sexual harassment charge since its role was mainly in the nature of a fact-finding body.

Its advice to HI was to refer the matter to the Union Sports Ministry so that a proper, detailed enquiry could be done to follow up on the charges.

The panel that also included Mrs Sudershan Pathak of Hockey Delhi and Anupam Ghulati, received a written complaint from the player (Ranjitha) and a rebuttal from Kaushik.

Reiterating her charge

Ranjitha reiterated her charge that was made in two separate e-mails sent to HI that the coach had sexually harassed her. The second e-mail from her was supported by a signed page by 31 players in the camp.

Kaushik denied all the charges against him. According to sources, throughout the hearing he was never “defensive” and placed his arguments forcefully. The panel also heard coaches Vasu Thapliyal and Mohammed Khalid Modi. It could not interview any of the other players who are now currently in Korea.

Speaking to the media on Friday, HI Secretary-GeneralNarinder Batra said, "We will study it (report) and put forward our recommendations.” He added he would submit the report to the Sports Ministry on Saturday.

The report contains depositions made by the coach and the player.

The Hindu

HI receives report on sex scandal from inquiry panel

NEW DELHI: The inquiry panel probing the sex scandal that has rocked Indian hockey submitted its report to Hockey India amid indications that the committee had only given a factual account and refrained from drawing any conclusions on coach MK Kaushik's conduct.

Hockey India, on its part, will submit the report of the five-member inquiry committee to the Sports Authority of India (SAI) on Saturday.

"We have received the report from the committee. We will study and discuss the report thoroughly and accordingly give our recommendations and submit it to SAI tomorrow," HI secretary general Narinder Batra said.

Chairman of the inquiry panel, Rajiv Mehta said the committee received testimonies from both the parties -- coach M K Kaushik and complainant Ranjita Devi -- and no other evidences were required for the probe.

"We have had lots of testimonies from both the parties as well some other players and manager of the team Madhu Yadav and we don't need to talk to any individual further. We have given our report," he said.

It is learnt that the panel, comprising Rajiv Mehta (chairman), Zafar Iqbal, Ajitpal Singh, Sudarshan Pathak and Anupam Ghulati, refrained from drawing any conclusion and only presented facts in their report to HI.

According to HI sources, the federation is also expected to refrain from giving any conclusion in their recommendation to SAI and will leave the entire matter on the government body as Kaushik was appointed by SAI.

Indian hockey plunged into a deep crisis last Tuesday when fringe player Ranjita, in a written complaint to HI, accused chief coach Kaushik of sexually harassing her.

HI then sprung into action and formed a five-member committee to investigate the matter.

Even though Kaushik tendered his resignation to HI president Vidya Stokes, which was accepted yesterday, he pleaded innocence and said the allegations were baseless and he was a victim of "big-time conspiracy".

HI also sacked videographer Basavraj whose photographs with prostitutes in compromising situations during the recent Canada and China tour were also sent to the national body through an anonymous e-mail.

The Times of India

Former skipper stands up for Kaushik

NEW DELHI: His back against the wall in the wake of the sexual harassment allegation, MK Kaushik on Friday received strong support from none other than a player whom he coached in early 90s - Pritam Rani Siwach. The former captain of the women’s team put her weight behind the beleaguered coach saying that she was "110 per cent sure Kaushik sir would not have done this".

"When I was in the team and he was the coach, we used to look up to him as the head of the family. I had never seen him indulging in such activities during my playing days," said the former striker from Haryana who was in the same team as Thokchom Ranjita Devi for the Olympic qualifiers in Kazan, Russia in 2008.

"Like an elder member of the family, he would scold us for committing mistakes on the field, but never did anything which I can call as sexual harassment."

The national coach of the men’s hockey team, Harendra Singh, termed the turn of events as unfortunate. "It’s really unfortunate. I know Kaushik for a very long time... he’s a thorough gentleman. It’s very hard to believe that he can do such an act," Harendra told TOI from Holland.

Meanwhile, the Railways Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) in a letter to Hockey India stated that it did not receive any complaint from its players on the issue. Thirteen members of the current Indian women’s team squad are employed by Railways. Ranjita, who labelled the charge against Kaushik, also works for Railways. "Railways have neither received any complaint or report from the manager (Madhu Yadav, who’s also a Railways employee) and the players on this issue till date," said the letter addressed to HI president on Thursday.

There’s also a section in hockey circles which believes that some elements were trying to benefit from the situation by defaming Kaushik. "Kaushik has been the hockey coach for quite some time now. His term will expire after the Asian Games. Some people who want to take over as coach are doing their best to add to the confusion by discrediting and defaming him."

The source added, "Let the case be probed but I’m sure that the disgruntled elements in the team, mostly senior players, have been misguided in this issue."

The Times of India

Manipur CM wants strong action against Kaushik

IMPHAL: MK Kaushik might have resigned over sexual harassment allegations, but Manipur is not ready to let him get away without being punished stringently.

Angry over the alleged harassment of Th Ranjita Devi - a national player from Manipur - by Kaushik, chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh and sports minister N Biren Singh have requested Union sports minister MS Gill to ensure that the players were not harassed in future and the tainted coach got "stringent punishment".

On Thursday, Okram and Biren faxed two letters to Gill, claiming that Ranjita, one of the probables for the women’s hockey team for the coming Commonwealth Games, had lodged a complaint against Kaushik with Hockey India, accusing the coach of harassing her mentally and verbally during national camps. "The complaint was supported by 31 hockey players... Besides, Ranjita alleged in her complaint that she had not been selected in the national team in the past because she refused to give in to the coach’s demands," Okram said in the letter.

"It’s a matter of serious concern. Such behaviour of a coach may affect the sentiment of all sections of society in general and particularly the young players from Manipur," he added.

The letter read that "it may not be out of place to say that players from this part of the country are being discriminated against and are not treated on a par with players from the rest of the country."

The Times of India

Affiliation: Hockey Chandigarh goes to court

Akash Ghai

Just five days ahead of the Hockey India’s (HI) scheduled elections at New Delhi, the Hockey Chandigarh today knocked the doors of Punjab and Haryana High Court to get affiliation from the government-backed body.

The local body, which was earlier named as the Chandigarh Hockey Association (affiliated with the Indian Hockey Federation), filed the case through its president Chander Shekhar, IPS and senior vice-president of the Indian Hockey Federation and Secretary General Yash Pal Vohra. Notably, the HI approved the affiliation of Hockey Chandigarh along with 11 other states without any issue during its November 30, 2009 meeting.

The HI also called on two representatives (one male and one female) from the HC to attend their first annual general meeting scheduled for February 7, 2010. But later in the end of May, the local body was disaffiliated, asking them to send their application through the Chandigarh Olympic Association.

But somehow the body could not get the required recommendation. Later the name of Chandigarh body was not found mentioned in the electoral college of the body. Along with the government, the Indian Olympic Association also backs the Hockey India. Seven other state units, including Tripura, Tamil Nadu, Mumbai, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan have also filed the cases to attend the July 28 elections.

The Tribune


Court issues notices to HI and COA

Justice Surya Kant of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has issued notices to the Hockey India and Chandigarh Olympic Association, Sector 4 Panchkula over a petition jointly filed by Chander Shekhar, President and Y P Vohra, General Secretary, Hockey Chandigarh. The petitioners have sought quashing of a letter dated January 18 of this year issued by Chandigarh Olympic Association regarding the recognition status of Hockey Chandigarh.

Indian Express